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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Jussie Smollett aka ‘Jamal’ from Empire Faces Racist & Homophobic Attack

Jussie Smollett known for playing Jamal in the show Empire was attacked in the early morning hours on Tuesday in a hate crime.

According to the police account, they then struck him in the face and poured an unknown chemical substance on him before one wrapped a rope around his neck.

Smollett was attacked by two people who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs” and “poured an unknown chemical substance on the victim,” police said.

One of Smollett’s alleged attackers also put a rope around his neck, according to police.

Both fled the scene.

It was reported by TMZ that the two men shouted “This is Maga country” after putting a noose around his neck and pouring bleach on him.

“Maga” stands for “Make America Great Again”, US President Donald Trump’s election campaign slogan in 2016.

Smollett took himself to Northwestern Hospital and “is in good condition,” authorities said.

As of Tuesday evening, a Chicago police spokesperson told CNN that investigators canvassed the neighbourhood where the reported attack occurred.

They haven’t found any still images or video from security cameras of the incident. 

The only image of Smollett police obtained from security cameras was inside a Subway sandwich shop near the location of the reported crime.

The actor was seen standing alone.

A dozen police detectives, with the assistance of the FBI, are working the case, according to police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi.

Smollett went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

Police said he was being treated and was in good condition.

CNN’s Don Lemon spoke to Smollett and a mutual friend who was at the hospital with the actor. Smollett confirmed the incident took place.

He was shaken and angry that an attack like this could happen. Smollett told CNN he fought back at the attackers.

“Given the severity of the allegations, we are taking this investigation very seriously and treating it as a possible hate crime,” the police statement said.

Investigators are testing the chemical Smollett said he was doused with and have yet to confirm the nature of the substance. 

Smollett has starred on Fox’s Empire since 2015. He plays a successful singer in the musical Lyon family.

Like his character, Smollett identifies as gay.

“We are deeply saddened and outraged to learn that a member of our ‘Empire’ family, Jussie Smollett, was viciously attacked last night,” a representative of 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Entertainment said in a statement to CNN.

“We send our love to Jussie, who is resilient and strong, and we will work with law enforcement to bring these perpetrators to justice.

The entire studio, network and production stand united in the face of any despicable act of violence and hate — and especially against one of our own.”

A representative for GLAAD told CNN the organization has reached out Smollett to offer assistance and support.

“Jussie is a true champion for LGBTQ people and is beloved by the community and allies around the world,” a GLAAD spokesperson said in a statement.

A number of celebrities voiced support for the actor after the attack.

“Sending love to Jussie and the Smollett family after this horrific attack. We support you and pray that you find peace and justice,” musician John Legend said on Twitter.

“This is heartbreaking and terrifying … please pay attention to what’s happening here. Sending all my love,” wrote actor and singer Zendaya.

Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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